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California’s Market for Hard-to-Verify Carbon Offsets Could Let Industry Pollute as Usual

Timber, dairy and chemical companies line up to sell credits to biggest emitters One hot day this spring John Buckley scrambled up a dusty slope of a patch of deforested land in the middle of California’s Stanislaus National Forest in the Sierra Nevada, five miles west of Yosemite National Park, and surveyed the bleak landscape: 20 acres of blackened tree stumps and the shriveled remains of undergrowth.  Read more
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Ever-changing population predictions frustrate Bay Area smart-growth planning

State, regional forecasts vary widely, generating uncertainty about long-term housing needs State and regional planning agencies have produced differing predictions of how many people will migrate to the Bay Area in coming decades. The disagreement is frustrating efforts to forge a consensus on how many hundreds of thousands of new homes to build across the region, and where.  Read more
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Don’t build neighborhood on SF Bay salt flats, Redwood City voters say in new poll

Redwood City residents oppose a plan to build a massive development on a stretch of salt ponds beside the San Francisco Bay by a 2-1 ratio, according to new poll released Tuesday.   The poll found 57 percent of voters in the city were against Arizona developer DMB Associates’ proposal to build a mini-city by partially paving over 1,436 acres of low-lying salt ponds on the eastern edge of Redwood City.  Read more
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Huge development on fringe of Bay sparks debate over ‘smart growth’

A wide dirt road cuts through the middle of the large, multi-hued salt harvesting ponds that stretch as far as the eye can see. Except for a few heavy trucks that trundle past, and a couple of ramshackle buildings, not much sign of human activity is visible on this stark, sweeping landscape in Redwood City, on the southern fringe of the San Francisco Bay.  Read more
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Story in progress: Veteran smart growth group wary of rushing to judgment

The other day we had a chance to chat over the phone with Jeremy Madsen, executive director of Greenbelt Alliance. This much-respected nonprofit has been advocating smart growth and open spaces in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1958. In 2008 the outfit published Smart Infill, a 80-page report that recommends infill development — building on vacant lots and redeveloping blighted urban areas — as a way of accommodating the Bay Area’s growing population without paving the region’s farms and natural areas.  Read more
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Story in progress: ‘Smart growth’ or bay fill in Redwood City? ABAG has the numbers

The Bay Area needs more homes for its growing population, but does it make sense to house 30,000 people on unstable land, in earthquake country, that’s also at high risk of inundation by rising sea waters? A massive development proposal on the fringes of the San Francisco Bay, in one of the last potentially developable areas in the region, is raising questions about the definition of smart growth.  Read more
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Judge orders release of documents in failed CalPERS real estate investment

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has to release key documents related to a failed $100 million real estate investment in East Palo Alto, a San Francisco court ruled Tuesday. Public interest in the documents “far outweighs any asserted interest in non-disclosure” given the amount of public money lost, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charlotte Wollard wrote in her ruling on a lawsuit by the First Amendment Coalition.  Read more
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Is it ‘smart growth’ to build in the San Francisco Bay? Updates from the field

The Bay Area needs more homes for its growing population, but does it make sense to house 30,000 people on unstable land, in earthquake country, that’s also at high risk of inundation by rising sea waters? A massive development proposal on the fringes of the San Francisco Bay, in one of the last potentially developable areas in the region, is raising questions about the definition of smart growth.  Read more